Golden Twenties

Ava has recently graduated in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. This means two things. First, moving back in with her mother, and then a series of job interviews where they tell you you’re not exactly what they had in mind. Somehow, she gets a job as a gopher in an experimental theatre group, where her work consists of photocopying scripts and flirting with Jonas, one of the actors.

But something is rotten in the state of theatre. The actors don’t share the director’s view that this is a staggering work of heartbreaking genius, and voices are raised behind closed doors. Soon the play is dropped from the programme and Ava is once more out of a job.

Looking to say good bye to Jonas, she finds him in his dressing room where they fuck, but neither of them appears to enjoy it much. They carry on occasionally seeing each other, then he gets offered a film in Prague and a chauffeur whisks him away.

Various other things happen. Ava’s mother breaks up with her boyfriend, who is nearer Ava’s age than her own. Mother and daughter go to visit Ava’s father and his new partner, but he won’t stop banging on about Trotsky. An old friend invites her to a vegetarian dinner party. While she’s on the toilet, the friend’s boyfriend bursts in and tells her that he doesn’t think the relationship is working. Ava goes to Prague to visit Jonas. Then she comes back. Ava’s mother’s boyfriend returns and makes a pass at Ava.

These various incidents may be somehow intrinsically connected, they may not. They may be making a profound statement about the directionlessness of 20-somethings in modern society. To be honest, I really didn’t care enough to have an opinion.

I’ve been here before. Sometimes, when reading a novel or watching a film, I just stop to ask “what is the point of this? Why are you telling me made up stories about made up people who don’t really exist?” Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve got a degree in reading books and have spent many hours entranced by made up stories, but I can’t really explain why something like Anna Karenina, say, or Middlesex, or even a list of jokes by Roddy Doyle posing as a story will move me, and other, equally fictitious stuff just leaves me cold.

Its not the this film was bad, or even that it wasn’t entertaining, but I just couldn’t grasp why I should be bothered about it. If I want to revel in the misfortune of wayward young people not sure what they want to do with their lives, I can just listen to my equally hapless friends. Though if any of them are reading this, you’re in perfect control of your life. Its the other ones I’m talking about

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